You say you own a house? Let's take a look at some of the facts that surround your world as a home owner. Fact No. 1: It's a tough real estate market out there. Fact No. 2: You probably could stand to remodel some of the features in your home. But if you're under the assumption that any renovations will instantly boost the value of your home, you might want to think again.
Truth is, not all renovations are created equal. It's generally a safe bet to update your kitchen, for example, but if you go too over-the-top you might not recoup your money. If you redo one bathroom and the other one hasn't been touched since 1975, it will just make potential buyers notice how grungy the old bathroom looks. And there are quite a few renovations that could actually decrease the value of your home. If you're even considering selling your home in the near future, you need to be careful about what improvements you decide to make before putting your house on the market.
When looking to remodel, you should factor in the climate and home styles of your region. Something that looks good in Florida -- like stucco siding or a Spanish tile roof -- might seem really odd in North Dakota. If you live in the suburbs, you should keep a suburban aesthetic to all of your remodeling ventures.
You should also take a look at what your neighbors are doing to their own homes. If your neighborhood is full of traditional Colonials, you might want to rethink that modern steel-and-glass addition. Most potential buyers don't like it when the house they're looking at sticks out in the neighborhood.
Click to the next page to learn about what specific home improvements could actually decrease the value of your home.